1 Conventional Systems (Gordon Lyon and C. Goff III)
2 Toothpaste, Original Full Version (Robert Silverman and C. Goff III)
3 Improvisation With Toothpaste Frippertronic Tape Loops (Robert Silverman and C. Goff III)
4 Happy Birthday Dear Steven (C. Goff III)
5 Radial (C. Goff III and Tina Guiney)
Taped Rugs Productions came into existence during the late 1970's and early 1980's. One of the components that is omnipresent in the Taped Rugs recordings of the 1980's is a Frippertronics-style tape loop system. Taped Rugs founder, Charles Rice Goff III, began experimenting with tape loop recordings in 1979, after having observed Robert Fripp performing his “Frippertronics” onstage in San Francisco and Berkeley, California. Having had no instruction on the subject beyond his observations of the Crimson King, Goff explored the potentials of creating tape loops with his Pioneer RT-707 and his Sony TC-630 reel-to-reel tape recorders.
Goff used variants of Frippertronics recording methods to compose his own works as well as the works he co-authored with -ING, Disism, and Herd Of The Ether Space. This archive contains a diagram of the tape loop set-up that all of these Taped Rugs acts used for many of their recordings and performances. There were several variants of the Taped Rugs tape loop set-up, however, before this version became the standard.
Goff initially attempted creating audio tape loops by using only microphones in the room to record the repeated materials. This worked, but the sound quality was very tinny and the loops had a tendency to rapidly become thick with feedback. The first piece presented in this archive is a brief excerpt from the only surviving example of this type of recording in the Taped Rugs collection. It was made by Goff and Gordon Lyon in 1979, and dubbed “Conventional Systems.” Most of this recording was so overwhelmed by feedback that the feedback itself became the main element of the piece (this excerpt also includes some FM radio input).
Goff later discovered that he could use direct lines rather than microphones to record the playback repetitions from the Sony recorder into the Pioneer (but not from the Pioneer into the Sony). The Sony, however, often ran slower than the Pioneer and caused the tape to droop away from the tape heads, sometimes even engaging the automatic shut off mechanisms. During one experimental recording session in 1980 with Robert Silverman, Goff set the Sony (playback) deck to roll at twice the speed of the Pioneer (recording) deck. The result created a unique recording which sounded like two guitars making noises that were being squeezed through a tube. Goff and Silverman called the result: “Toothpaste.” The complete recording of this experiment is the second piece in this archive.
An edit from this piece appears on the first official Taped Rugs cassette album, "Might As Well Beyond Venus." (archived at: http://www.archive.org/details/MightAsWellBeyondVenus) Goff and his long list of associates used this “toothpaste” recording technique many times for years afterward to create unique sonic sculptures, but none of these recordings was ever able to recreate the truly strange sounds of the original “Toothpaste.”
The third piece in this archive features Goff (guitar) and Silverman (electric organ) experimenting with the toothpaste technique again in early 1981. It employed the same two tape recorders but achieved a much different resulting sound. This recording has never appeared on an official Taped Rugs cassette nor on a Taped Rugs CDR.
The fourth piece in this archive was created by Goff in November, 1982, as a birthday gift for his main collaborator from -ING, Steve Schaer. To create this composition, Goff sequenced together (no mixer was used) several tape-looped variations of him playing the traditional “Happy Birthday” song on his electronic guitar. He also yells "Happy Birthday To You" into the guitar pickups at various points in the recording. Until its appearance here, this piece has never before been made available to the public.
The fifth piece in this archive, "Ritual," was created by Goff as a sonic accompaniment for his niece, Tina Guiney, to use during a solo aquatic ballet performance in 1984. Radial was composed by editing together several short bits of improvised tape loop recordings. Most of the recordings feature Goff playing electronic guitar and Guiney playing flute. Goff also injected a small bit of tape-looped cello, played by Killr "Mark" Kaswan (later of Disism) into the piece. Guiney had instructed Goff to make the final recording around 3-4 minutes in length and to include several shifts in rhythm to accommodate a variety of swimming maneuvers. Goff used two reel-to-reel tape players and an analog mixer to mesh together the tape loop edits for this piece.
Guiney performed the ballet at a competition in San Francisco not long after the composition was completed. She represented the San Francisco Merionettes Synchronized Swimming Team. Guiney was the only competitor who swam to an original piece of music (or who actually had taken part of the production of her sonic accompaniment). She skillfully added a bit of Gustav Holst’s “Mars” to the end of Radial to create a finale for her performance, which was very well received by the audience and judges. Guiney does not appear on any other recordings in the Taped Rugs catalog. Ritual was officially released to the public by Taped Rugs in 2002 on the compilation CDR entitled, "-RE."